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John Wick 4 adds Donnie Yen as Keanu Reeves' old friend

Ip Man
(Image credit: Mandarin Films)

Donnie Yen is the latest cast member to join the upcoming hitman sequel, John Wick 4 . As reported by Deadline, Yen's character is described as an old friend of Wick's who "shares his same history and many of the same enemies." 

Yen, a Hong Kong Chinese actor with some serious MMA skills, is perhaps best known for his leading turn in the Ip Man series as the titular Wing Chun master. He snagged supporting roles in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, xXx: Return of Xander Cage, and Mulan

Yen joins the recently-cast Rina Sawayama, the British-Japanese songwriter making her big-screen debut in the movie. We know nothing about her role yet, either. The pair join Ian McShane who reprises his role of Winston from the first three films. 

Chad Stahelski returns to direct his second solo Wick film after 2019's John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum. He co-directed the first two outings with David Leitch before taking the reins solo on the subsequent sequels. Stahelski acted as Reeves' stunt double on the first Matrix movie before serving as stunt coordinator on the latter entries. Army of the Dead screenwriter Shay Hatten returns, co-writing the script with Predators scribe Michael Finch.

"We are very lucky to have Donnie Yen join the franchise," Stahelski said. "I am looking forward to working with him in this exciting new role."

Perhaps somewhat unsurprisingly given the nature of the Wick franchise, the sequel's destined to be another globe-trotting affair. Shooting on the movie starts this month with the bulk of filming set for Paris and Berlin and additional photography scheduled for Japan. New York City will, of course, make an appearance as Wick's stomping ground. 

Early plans for the fourth entry were to shoot the movie back-to-back with John Wick: Chapter 5. Whether that sequel remains on the docket is unknown; it could be COVID concerns which signaled this change or the studio might wait to see how the fourth installment fares at the box office. 

John Wick 4 fires into theaters on May 27, 2022. Until then, check out our guide of the best Netflix action movies to stream right now.

I'm GamesRadar+'s west coast Entertainment News Reporter. I'm a bit obsessed with all things Aliens and Terminator. You can find my byline on our best Netflix movies and best Netflix shows lists.